The Chance for Insight
Knowing that you are at higher genetic risk for certain types of cancers gives you a valuable head start in fighting cancer before it starts – in large part because you are informed and on the lookout.
Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are passed down from generation to generation (most cancers are the result of lifestyle, environmental or aging factors), but if you or your family members have been diagnosed with colon, breast, ovarian or uterine cancer or have a personal history of 10 colon polyps, you could be at increased risk for developing these cancers. At Virtua, various genetic tests can tell you for sure.
By making a testing appointment and completing your personal cancer risk assessment with the cancer genetics program, you will be better able to make informed health decisions for yourself and your family.
Our cancer genetics experts will be there to guide you every step of the way.
The process begins with a thorough family and personal medical history so you can better understand your individual cancer risk, as well as the risks associated with screening, and decide whether genetic testing is right for you. This information can also help you make lifestyle changes to decrease your risk for cancer or increase the frequency of the screenings you receive so you have the best odds of detecting cancer early.
As a participant, you will:
- Receive individualized and comprehensive counseling from cancer genetics experts including medical oncologists trained in cancer genetics, advanced practice nurses, board-certified genetic counselors and social workers
- Discover if you have an increased genetic risk for cancer
- Learn about the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing
- Undergo genetic testing, if appropriate
- Learn what you can do to decrease your risk for developing cancer (screening, medical, surgical)
- Receive information regarding clinical trials or research studies, if eligible
Genetic tests are available for hereditary breast cancer. Among them are the most common hereditary breast cancer syndromes involving the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. When genetic testing is complete and an alteration is found in one of the identified genes, an individual’s risk for developing certain types of cancer is significantly increased. For women, there is an increased risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. For men, there is an increased risk for breast and prostate cancer. In addition, men and women who have already been diagnosed with these cancers are at increased risk for developing a second cancer. This makes genetic testing for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer extremely important for those previously diagnosed.
Colorectal cancer syndromes
Genetic tests are available for hereditary colon cancer. Common hereditary cancer syndromes include Lynch Syndrome and FAP. Lynch Syndrome (or HNPCC) is an inherited condition that increases your risk for colon, uterine, ovarian and other cancers. FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) is an inherited condition that causes an individual to have hundreds of colon polyps and significantly increases the risk for colon cancer. Genetic testing is also available for other gastrointestinal hereditary cancer syndromes.
For more information, call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).